News Analysis

Industry Agrees to Phase Out DecaBDE Flame Retardant

DecaBDE is a brominated flame retardant that, along with other polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), has long been targeted by environmental and health advocates (see “Flame Retardants Under Fire” in EBN June 2004).

Two chemicals in the PBDE family, the penta- and octa- forms, were eliminated earlier in the decade, but decaBDE has remained in widespread use, especially in hard (durable) plastics for consumer electronics and office equipment, upholstery textiles, drapery backings, and plastic pallets. Annual North American consumption was about 50 million pounds (23 million kg) in 2001, according to industry sources, though usage has dropped as much as 50% since then.

Published February 1, 2010